“Don’t let biology determine who you are; Latin, Cuban, or American identity is not some scientifically determined thing. If you feel it, that’s what you are. You have a choice.”
These are the words of David Sandoval, the songwriter and musician behind alt.Cuban-American band, Del Exilio (“From Exile”). A fitting statement from a man whose own wanderings inspired said wisdom. A thoughtfulness that is on full display on Del Elxilio's new album Panamericano. Thoughtfulness that is at turns funky, catchy and socially conscious through the album's ten songs.
Each song is a new chapter in the story, a narrative approach that lets Sandoval get at aspects that resonate with his own past—the double consciousness of Cuban-American life, the complexities of cultural identity—and at more universal issues of love, hope, and migration. It has also sparked a “videonovela” version of the same tale, with a different, locally produced music video/short film set in each country represented in PANAMERICANO, adding another dimension to Del Exilio’s storytelling.